[The Hwankyung Ilbo] Recently, a variety of indoor paints have been sold that emphasize 'environment friendly' and 'non-toxic'. However, it is pointed out that it is urgent to strengthen the safety standards for the paint as chemicals that can cause sick house syndrome were found in some products.
The Korea Consumer Agency conducted a survey of 20 indoor paint products on the market, and found that 19 (95.0%) products contained isothiazolinone compounds exceeding the EU CLP regulations.
The isothiazolinone compounds used as preservatives for paints such as CMIT / MIT, BIT and OIT are classified as skin sensitizers. The EU states that if the substance is contained in the paint at a certain concentration or more, 'Allergic Reaction Warning Statement' is required to be displayed.
However, only one product imported from Europe was labeled with the name of the skin irritant inducer and the warning statement.
Paint must comply with the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) content standards for use according to the Clean Air Conservation Act.
Korea limits its VOCs content to less than 35g/L in paint, which is less strict than that of EU’s 30g/L. In fact, nine out of the 20 inspected products exceeded the EU Paint VOCs content standard.
In addition, when advertising about environmental performance, it is necessary to use fact-based expression according so that there is no possibility of misunderstanding by consumers. However, 17 of the 20 surveyed (85.0%) products use the expression of 'ZERO VOC' or 'harmless', 'non-toxic', '100% natural' even though they contain VOCs.
Based on the results of the survey, the Korea Consumer Agency plans to request the Ministry of Environment to strengthen the standard of VOCs content of indoor paint, to provide standards for hazardous chemical substances such as isothiazolinone compounds, and to strengthen the management and supervision of signs and advertisements.
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